From the Wikipedia article for Bantustan:

The term, first used in the late 1940s, was coined from Bantu (meaning "people" in some of the Bantu languages) and -stan (a suffix meaning "land" in the Persian language and some Persian-influenced languages of western, central, and southern Asia).

But neither the Wikipedia entry nor the provided source (OED) mentioned who coined the term for the first time.

Also, what was the reason they used a Persian suffix?

  • 1
    ngram viewer may be helpful
    – MCW
    Commented Oct 13, 2023 at 14:55

1 Answer 1


Probably first "Bantu Hindustan" by J.S. Franklin, then shortened either by him or others to "Bantustan":

J.S. Franklin (1949):

back of and beyond our Bantu Hindustan there lies the Continent of Africa with its 250 millions of black-skinned people.

Edgar Brookes (June 1949):

a great Bantu State or group of States to which at least one ingenious thinker has affixed the term 'Bantustan'

E.H. Brookes (1949)

the creation of a new large Bantu state. Some speakers have referred to it as 'Bantustan'.

  • 2
    books.google.com/… shows a 1947 use Commented Oct 18, 2023 at 14:10
  • @kimchilover: That is interesting. That seems to be a very isolated use of Bantustan in the context of Uganda, not related to subsequent and more common uses of Bantustan in the context of South Africa. // Possibly no state in Panafrica has a greater variety of tourismatic attractions to offer than Bantustan - I'm not sure what "Bantustan" refers to. // There is a reference to a "Central Bantustan University", but I have been unable to find any information on the existence of any such university.
    – user103496
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 1:06
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    I think the publication I found was a student literary or humor magazine at Makerere College (now Uni) in Uganda, and that in it "Bantustan" means "Uganda", in a tongue-in-cheek speculation about what the future might bring. I agree that this is not the Bantustan of Nationalist South Africa. Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 1:33
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    Continuing: I think "Central Bantustan University" means "Makerere University" in this article. Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 14:29
  • Why did they use Hindustan to make the term? Why not other -stan words? Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 13:44

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